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Home/Caregiver Coaching

Caregiver Coaching

One-on-one mentorship and support for family caregivers

Our free Caregiver Coaching program matches people who are caring for an aging or disabled loved one with a compassionate, trained volunteer who will work with them one-on-one. The needs of family caregivers can be very different, so our program focuses on flexibility and support. It’s built around you. Coaches will help you identify needs and obstacles, explore and select options, and offer encouragement. Depending on your needs, our coaches can be guides, sounding boards, researchers, cheerleaders, encouragers, calmer-downers or lifter-uppers. Our volunteers strive to build a safe and supportive environment where they walk beside you on your caregiving journey.

How it works

Step 1 - Understanding Your Needs

It all starts with a conversation. When you contact us, we’ll schedule a time for a one-on-one call. We’ll ask some questions and find out more about you, the person you care for, your caregiving situation, and the kind of support you need. The call usually takes about 15-20 minutes, and we’ll work to make sure it’s at a time that’s best for you.

Step 2 - Matching You with a Coach That “Fits”

Once we’ve learned a little more about you and what you need, we’ll work on matching you with the volunteer that will best fit your personality and situation. We want to be sure you are matched with someone you’re comfortable talking to and sharing with. It usually takes less than 48 hours to get connected with one of our volunteer coaches.

Step 3 - Getting the Support You Need, When You Need It

Your coach will reach out to you to set up a time to talk. The coaching relationship will look different for each caregiver and coach, and your relationship will depend on your needs. You and your coach will work together to figure out how often you meet and how you communicate. You can talk with your coach as often or as little as you’d like. It’s up to you! If you don’t love your initial coach, that’s okay too. We will work to find someone you click with to help you on your caregiving journey.

Next Steps

If you’d like to learn more, you can download our brochure, learn more about some of our coaches, or dig into our FAQs. If you’re ready to get started, great! Fill out the contact form or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you and get you started with a coach.

 

Meet the Coaches


Kwan-Ling

Kwan-Ling was drawn to volunteering in the program by her experience caring for friends and members of her own family, including her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Kwan-Ling says her mother taught her to “help others when you can,” and volunteering for this program is one way to honor her ...
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Kwan-Ling was drawn to volunteering in the program by her experience caring for friends and members of her own family, including her mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. Kwan-Ling says her mother taught her to “help others when you can,” and volunteering for this program is one way to honor her mother’s legacy. She believes having been a caregiver herself helps her empathize with both caregivers and care recipients. She sees herself as a companion on the journey and feels that establishing that one-on-one relationship means she can be a constant in the ever-changing and stressful world of the caregiver. “The caregiver's journey will not go on forever, the stress will be over some day,” she says. “But love never fails and it remains. Together we can do it.”
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Margy

Margy recently retired after 44 years as an RN. During her career, one of the roles she found most rewarding was working with family members who were caring for patients with complex conditions—helping them find help and connect with resources. She views caregivers as “unsung heroes” and worries that they ...
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Margy recently retired after 44 years as an RN. During her career, one of the roles she found most rewarding was working with family members who were caring for patients with complex conditions—helping them find help and connect with resources. She views caregivers as “unsung heroes” and worries that they don’t have enough support or recognition. Margy sees her role as a listener and conduit to accurate information and believes the caregiver/coach relationship works best when there is honesty, respect, and careful listening. What does she think caregivers need to know most? “Taking care of yourself should be a priority. Don’t put yourself last. Only when you are okay can you truly help your loved one.”
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Fill out our interest form, and we'll get in touch to learn more about your needs and how we can help

Match with a Caregiver Coach

Volunteer to Become a Caregiver Coach

Match with a Caregiver Coach


    Volunteer to Become a Caregiver Coach

    We are looking for volunteers to work one-on-one with family caregivers to help them find resources and navigate caring for a loved one. We will provide training and lots of support. If you’re interested in lending a listening ear and supporting caregivers in your community, please fill out the form below. We would be happy to chat and tell you more!


      FAQ

      Who are family caregivers?

      A family caregiver is anyone who is providing any type of unpaid care for a friend, family member or other loved one. This could be a spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle or a friend or neighbor. You could be providing full-time care or occasional support, like running errands or helping pay bills. The person you are caring for could live with you, live in their own home, nursing home, or senior living facility. There is no minimum time spent caring required to call yourself a caregiver and qualify for the program.

      What does the program cost?

      The program is FREE! There are no costs associated with this program.

      How do I qualify for the program?

      If you or the person you care for resides in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, or Washtenaw counties, you automatically qualify for the program.

      How does the program work?

      Once you complete the Caregiver Coaching Interest Form, you will be contacted by a AAA1-B representative. After connecting, if you think the program is right for you, you will complete a confidential application describing your caregiving situation, and you will be asked to share information about you and the person you are caring for to match you with one of our trained volunteers. After the match is made, our volunteer will reach out to start the process. The volunteer is there to support you and help you through the caregiving journey. They can help you sort through resources, formulate questions to ask doctors, lend an ear for support, map out support services, and much more.

      What kinds of things do coaches do? What does meeting with a coach look like?

      Our program is personalized, so how often you meet, how you communicate, and what you and your coach talk about is centered solely on your needs. There is no set structure. Sometimes you may just need to vent, sometimes you may need to bounce ideas off your coach, sometimes you may need help connecting with resources, or sometimes you may need some encouragement. It’s all driven by your needs in that moment.

      How do I get matched with a caregiver coach?

      When filing out the confidential application, you will be asked questions about you and the person you provide care for. The application also has a section that asks about your match preferences. For example, if you feel strongly that you want to be matched with someone of the same gender or religious background, we will search our volunteer pool to match you with someone with those same demographics. Please note this an example only. We do our best to match you based on your preferences, the caregiving situation, and our current volunteer pool.

      What is required of me?

      The program is built around your needs. There is no minimum number of communications required and no specific structure or schedule. Every caregiver has different needs. Some caregivers just want someone to talk to on a regular basis, while others want support in creating to-dos or sorting through resource lists. There is no right or wrong way. Your coach is here to support you.

      What is the time commitment?

      As much or as little as you want. Typically, you will meet with your coach once a month, but this varies based on what you want or need. Sometimes there is a lot going on and meeting more frequently will be helpful, and then sometimes months go by and there isn’t a need to reach out. This program is built on supporting you. There are no time requirements. You and your coach will work together to set a schedule that works for you.

      Is a coach like a therapist?

      While our coaches are very empathetic and often touch on some of the emotional aspects of caregiving, they are not therapists.

      What kind of training or background do volunteers have?

      Most of our coaches have been caregivers themselves, so they know what it’s like. Our volunteers receive training when they first join the program. After that, we have a monthly coaches’ check-in where our volunteers get together as a group to share ideas and resources. They work directly with our program coordinator who can give them feedback and support when needed.

      Are coaches screened? Do they go through a background check?

      Yes. Our volunteers go through an application process that includes a background check.

      Is what I talk about with my coach kept confidential?

      Our program is built around relationships and confidentiality is one of our pillars. Our volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement when they are accepted into the program and commit to keeping conversations confidential. Additionally, all of our coaches are trained on HIPAA privacy practices to keep your information safe and secure.

      What if I don’t click with my caregiver coach?

      No worries! Just let the program coordinator know and you will work together to find a better suited match. Because this program is based on relationships, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible. And, hey, we get it sometimes we just don’t click with a person. We have many other volunteers available.

      Volunteer Now!

      Ready to take the next step? Fill out our confidential volunteer application. After completing, a AAA 1-B representative will reach out to you to go over next steps. Want to talk to someone first? Email coaching@aaa1b.org to find out more.

      Volunteer Now